iphone5_imageApple is planning on creating an R&D team to develop baseband chips, which are used to control a device's radio functions like modulation, signal generation and more, for future iPhones in-house, according to a new report from DigiTimes. The baseband chip is separate from the A7 processor, which Apple already designs with an in-house team.

Apple reportedly plans to form a R&D team to develop baseband processors for use in iPhones to be released in 2015 and will place the baseband chip orders with Samsung Electronics and Globalfoundries, according to industry sources.

Qualcomm is currently the company that Apple acquires its baseband chips from, although they're produced in mass quantities at Apple manufacturing partner Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company.

Recently, Apple has made moves to bring more chip development in-house, including rumors of an effort to purchase a unit of Renesas Electronics that creates chips for smartphone displays. It also acquired low-power wireless chip provider Passif Semiconductor, whose chips could be used to improve battery life in wearables, like Apple's rumored iWatch.

The moves are a part of Apple's effort to control its own production supplies and core technologies, and include partnerships like Apple's deal with GT Advanced, which will provide the Cupertino company with massive supplies of sapphire displays.

Top Rated Comments

WallToWallMacs Avatar
106 months ago
Although I love that apple exerts such care and control over their hardware, I do wonder if it's a bit dangerous for them to be investing so heavily in the R/D for such specific components (stretching themselves too thin?). Then again, the hardware software combo is one of their strengths and they should be focusing on it.

Bringing it all in house does bring benefits especially if the can get software based modulation working which means a single product line supporting every frequency imaginable out of the box.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
chrmjenkins Avatar
106 months ago
Apple was late to LTE for the same reason they didn't include 3G in the first iPhone: they wanted to keep their build costs down. Nothing changed as far as power requirements in between.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but at the time of creating the iPhone 4, there was no single chip radio solution for normal 2G/3G and LTE. The thunderbolt had multiple chips. So yes, it kept build costs down, but it also simplified the PCB and kept it smaller and saved on power consumption. It wasn't only cost.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CosmoFox Avatar
106 months ago
On the hardware side, Apple is doing great. It's the software side they've stretched themselves a bit too thin.

Um what? Apple is doing well on both ends.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
theBB Avatar
106 months ago
A team of 10, 15 people at a cost of roughly $5 million/year to control timing and production cycle is not a bad thing.
If Apple can have a team of only 10 or 15 people develop and test a chip that takes hundreds of engineers in other companies, it should definitely do it. :)
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dumastudetto Avatar
106 months ago
This is great news for consumers. It proves Apple is committed to bringing us even greater coupling of hardware and software for the best product experiences. I'm excited to see these new technologies in the next generation iPhone and iPad.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
usarioclave Avatar
106 months ago
The problem with Apple's approach is interoperability. When a qualcomm chip goes through testing, it's a known quantity that's used by lots and lots of people. If Apple goes its own way it loses that base of testers and troubleshooters.

That would have caused problems back in the day, when iPhones apparently had some incorrect settings. That sort of debugging would be really difficult if Apple went its own way. With a Qualcomm chip, you can at least say that it's not the chip because other people's phones work fine. With Apple having its own chip, you're SOL when it comes to knowing what the issue is.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Pro Purple Front and Back MacRumors Exclusive

iPhone 14 Pro Renders Highlight Multiple Design Changes

Wednesday May 25, 2022 8:56 am PDT by
Leaker Jon Prosser today shared ostensibly accurate renders of the iPhone 14 Pro, providing the most accurate look yet at what the device could look like when it launches later this year. In the latest video on YouTube channel Front Page Tech, Prosser revealed renders of the iPhone 14 Pro made by Apple concept graphic designer Ian Zelbo, highlighting a range of specific design changes...
iPad Pro USB C Feature Coral

Deals: Apple's iPad Pro Reaches Up to $449 Off in Amazon's Latest Sales

Wednesday May 25, 2022 10:09 am PDT by
Amazon is marking down a wide variety of 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models this week, with prices starting as low as $749.00 for the 11-inch tablet. You'll find the full list of sales below, all of which can be found on Amazon. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep...
apple account card

Wallet App Now Supports Apple Account Cards on iOS 15.5

Wednesday May 25, 2022 5:01 pm PDT by
Apple appears to have recently updated the Wallet app to allow users to add an Apple Account Card, which displays the Apple credit balance associated with an Apple ID. If you receive an App Store or Apple Store gift card, for example, it is added to an Apple Account that was previously visible in the App Store and Apple Store apps. As of today, the Apple Account balance can also be added to...
iphone 13 pro max display bleen

iPhone 14 Max Reportedly Weeks Behind Schedule [Updated]

Thursday May 26, 2022 7:25 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 Max is currently behind schedule by around three weeks, according to Haitong International Securities analyst Jeff Pu. Yesterday, Nikkei Asia reported that at least one iPhone 14 model was three weeks behind schedule due to the impact of lockdowns on Apple's supply chains in China, but it was not clear which iPhone 14 model this related to. Now, Pu has clarified that the model...
iPhone 13 Always On Feature

iPhone 14 Pro Screen Refresh Rate Upgrade Could Allow for Always-On Display

Tuesday May 24, 2022 7:23 am PDT by
Last year's iPhone 13 Pro models were the first of Apple's smartphones to come with 120Hz ProMotion displays, and while the two iPhone 14 Pro models will continue to feature the technology, their screens could well boast expanded refresh rate variability this time round. To bring ProMotion displays to the ‌iPhone 13 Pro models‌, Apple adopted LTPO panel technology with variable refresh...
Apple Tap to Pay iPhone

Apple Stores Rolling Out iPhone-to-iPhone Contactless Payments Starting Today

Wednesday May 25, 2022 6:54 am PDT by
Apple in February unveiled a new "Tap to Pay on iPhone" feature that will allow compatible iPhones to accept payments via Apple Pay, contactless credit and debit cards, and other digital wallets, with no additional hardware required. Apple began testing the feature at its Apple Park Visitor Center earlier this month, and now Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has tweeted that the feature will begin...
apple tv 4k design green

Apple Releases tvOS 15.5.1 for Apple TV HD and Apple TV 4K

Wednesday May 25, 2022 9:42 am PDT by
Apple today released tvOS 15.5.1, a minor update to the tvOS operating system that first launched in September 2021. tvOS 15.5.1 comes about 10 days after the launch of tvOS 15.5. tvOS 15.5.1 can be downloaded over the air on the Apple TV through the Settings app by going to System > Software Update. ‌‌‌‌‌‌Apple TV‌‌‌‌‌‌ owners who have automatic software updates...